Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26

Thread: Equipment advice please

  1. #1
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    SD
    Posts
    2,947

    Default Equipment advice please

    I thickness wood by hand, hand planes, routers, belt and disc sanders, sawing etc. I am looking at a Jet drum sander. Does anyone here have a drum sander and any advice on picking which size? I look at the 1020, 1632 and 1836. I do not want to waste money and wish I had bigger later but I will run some think 10/4 lumber through it and am concerned about the feed belt on the smaller unit. The price is attractive but I do not know how durable they are. Any thoughts or experience welcome. I could swing any of these three and don't plan on any sanding over 80 or maybe 140 grit probably just 60 and 80. I buy my lumber form a local mill all ruff sawn and in live edge chunks so a little more work but I have no issue cutting it to what I want and they kiln dry to furniture grade so and order can take months to get. It does make for some thick and possibly long lumber at times. Thanks! I figure of all the places I go you guys will have the most useful advice for me because although I am not pro instrument builder I dabble but also do cabinets chests table etc. Thanks!
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    16/32 is a great size. 10/20 is not worth it IMHO, my dual drum sander is 16" and that's just slightly narrow a lot of times. If you're doing any furniture, 10" is just not going to do it. Time is part of the issue, too.. a wider belt lets you use more of the belt for longer, and avoid a gummed up spot, change the belt/drum paper less often, as well as running multiple legs or aprons through at once so you can get on with your work.

  3. The following members say thank you to Marty Jacobson for this post:


  4. #3
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    SD
    Posts
    2,947

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    Thanks Marty! Do these really work well running a board through to get the full 32" or 36" width? Neither is as wide as I have done before so I am leaning towards the 1632
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  5. The following members say thank you to John Bertotti for this post:


  6. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Stockport, UK
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    I agree with Marty. I had a 10/20 and replaced it with a 16/32 with the sand smart feature. It is a far better and more powerful machine. Aside from that, the 10/20 has a history of failing lead screws wearing out. A problem which I've not heard about on the larger machines. Mike

  7. The following members say thank you to mikeyb2 for this post:


  8. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Farmington, MN
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    I have the Jet 16/32 drum sander. It does an ok job. The "smart sand" controller fizzed out within a week of use. Lead screw wears out and won't stay at a consistent height. I'll often run batches of mandolin sides through, keep the machine running and measure thickness of last run piece. That takes 30 seconds. When I start another piece, the drum has moved down and takes too much off the next piece.
    It's fine if you are mindful of that. Also, not really useful for guitar back and sides as it's not wide enough. Yes, you can rotate the piece and get the other side, but it doesn't sand evenly and leaves a ledge. The drum is not level to the table.

  9. The following members say thank you to sliebers for this post:


  10. #6

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    I don’t have one, but just looked over the construction online. Looks ok, but built to price and very flimsy for a cantilever type. No clamps on the leadscrew, so it probably can creep. Arm alignment only locked by a couple of screws in sheetmetal, also not substantial. A clamp is something you might add, especially if it’s mostly used in a small range of settings. Also, the manual indicates that alignment should be ‘end up’ slightly for use on wide panels, also recognizing some slop leading to a ridge. Does have a breaker set close for some sort of overload protection, maybe an annoyance as well as a feature. As always, something that needs to be coddled a little for best performance.

  11. The following members say thank you to Richard500 for this post:


  12. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    I've been running a 16/32 for about eight years. It's "basically okay." There's a guy out there who goes by Joe Woodworker who figured out a couple of hacks to the adjustments, with the goal of trying to maintain absolute horizontality across the drum. I did those, and it's better, but nowhere near perfect. My neighbor recently bought a new 16/32, and it looks like the manufacturer has incorporated the aforementioned hacks into the stock design. I find even with painstaking adjustment, with test lights and the whole deal, the outboard end of the drum still sags enough to leave a ridge. Interesting idea, hard to execute. Further, as sliebers said, it's not really wide enough to do guitar tops and backs. (But if you're going to buy one, be sure to get the optional infeed/outfeed tables.)

    I added a DRO to my sander, and it's very easy to use despite the limitations. If you never have to run anything wider than about 8", it does a beautiful job.

    If I had it all again to do, I'd get a 24" drum sander that runs in a full gantry. But that's also at least double the money. Possibly worth it depending on your workflow.

  13. The following members say thank you to Jonathan Ward for this post:


  14. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    Here's pretty much everything you need to know about living with the Jet 16/32 (formerly Performax):

    http://joewoodworker.com/performax.htm

    http://benchmark.20m.com/tools/PmaxS...maxsander.html

  15. The following members say thank you to Jonathan Ward for this post:


  16. #9
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    SD
    Posts
    2,947

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    Well, thanks everyone. I decided to hold off for awhile and either fab something myself or save a bit for a larger more stable unit. I appreciate the replies! Thanks again
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  17. #10

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    Don't ask a drum sander to do the work of a thickness planer. Cut your pieces to smallest size you need and hand plane until close and then run it through. This works very well for me on 19x38 Performax. I felt this was the minimum size for acoustic guitars, overkill for mandolins but I can do either.
    Richard Hutchings

  18. The following members say thank you to Dick Hutchings for this post:


  19. #11
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    SD
    Posts
    2,947

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    I really enjoy hand planes but they aren't as quick as I would like at times.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  20. #12
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    2,152

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    There was a 16/32 on facebook marketplace in Tennessee this week for $150!

    Remember that almost all drum sanders use some sort of clip design to hold the sandpaper that effectively limits the outside 1" - 1 1/2" area of both sides of the drum. You can use it, but it will not be the same accuracy as the main portion. For that reason, if you are planning on building guitars, get an 18 or 19" model.

    They have been produced long enough that there is a thriving secondhand market; I see them all of the time for $500 or less. For the hobbyist builder, I see no reason to buy a new one. I paid $600 for my 18" WITH a dust collector 12 years ago. Most of the "specialized" replacement parts can be found for $75 or less if you look around. I blew the conveyor motor on mine. The OEM price quote was $475; I found the same motor for $50 on ebay. If you want a lifetime machine, buy one of the older US made Supermax machines. Fantastic build quality and you can service them yourself with simple hardware store materials.

  21. The following members say thank you to j. condino for this post:


  22. #13
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    14,897

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    Those of us who have been around for a while remember the days when "thickness sander" meant: (a) spend much more money than we can afford, or (b) make a homemade machine and put up with the idiosyncrasies.
    I bought a used Ryobi 16-32 many years ago and I've really been happy with it. It looks identical to the Performax from the same era, and I think I paid about $150 for it. Yes, the cantilever sags with gravity and lifts with sanding pressure, yes the feed belt doesn't track particularly well, yes dust infiltrated and killed the switch once ( I sealed it after that), yes it is imperfect, but it sure beats struggling with some homemade machine like ones I had used before, and it sure beats paying thousands of dollars for significantly better performance.
    I find the 16" width to be adequate for guitar tops and backs; I've never built a guitar with a body wider than 16".

    A couple of things I've figured out over the years.
    -To get a more even thickness over the width of pieces, run them through, flip them around and run them again. By alternating which edge is "in" and which edge is "out", the flex in the cantilever is sort of averaged out.
    -There is a tendency for snipe. If I'm running multiple pieces (the usual situation) I butt them tight against one another when feeding them into the machine. If I am only running one piece I run a scrap of wood also and butt it against the piece. On the last pass through, the scrap catches the snipe. In fact I nearly always run a scrap along with the work pieces so that I can stop and start over or otherwise not have to continuously run butted pieces. To continue after a break, start with the scrap and end with the scrap; no snipe in the work pieces.

  23. The following members say thank you to sunburst for this post:


  24. #14
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    1,498

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    I have had a 16/32 Taiwanese clone of a Performax for 20 years and it gets used every day. It is .5mm/.020" out of whack from the inside to the outside, which I could probably shim out, but I have never got around to. I only use 80grit rolls of paper which can last from an hour to a couple of months, depending on what I am doing with it, but it is the most often used piece of machinery in the workshop, other than the bandsaw. You do need dust extraction! A 16/32 can do guitar sized bits and does everything you will need for a mandolin. Anything smaller will be frustrating at some point, I suspect.

    Cheers

  25. The following members say thank you to Graham McDonald for this post:


  26. #15
    Mandolin & Mandola maker
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Bega NSW, Australia
    Posts
    1,270

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    I have the same Taiwanese clone as Graham, for about 23 years. It is used almost every day and I use it for guitars as well. Has the same out of whack as Graham's. I also use 80 grit rolls of paper, but they can last quite a long time if you clean them regularly. The main problem is changing the paper, the right hand clip tends to slip and can ruin a roll of paper in a second. More bad language has been directed at that machine when changing the paper than everything else combined. Apart from that, it works fine, used a lot and never any outage in 23 years.
    Peter Coombe - mandolins, mandolas and guitars
    http://www.petercoombe.com

  27. The following members say thank you to peter.coombe for this post:


  28. #16

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    So maybe it's not such a bad idea to buy new like I did. I have had zero issues and the load sensing technology is awesome. I run mine as fast as it will go and let it take care of slowing if I'm taking too heavy a cut. It doesn't get used a lot but I have smile on my face evertime I use it.

  29. The following members say thank you to Dick Hutchings for this post:


  30. #17
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    SD
    Posts
    2,947

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    Thanks Guys/Gals! It is nice to see some positive and not just negative. I am bound to get a thickness sander but I am not sure it will be a new unit or one I make. I have started making a jig for slab leveling. large pieces. I have considered a jig with a stationary piece of wood, o a smaller scale and a moving drum with abrasives on it. initially it would be moved by hand not power that would allow both sides to be the same thickness and I have a lot of the material already but do I want to build it or not. I have to put a lot more thought into it. The Jet is 10% off through January 31 but no matter which I would choose they are all backordered for months. If I set to it I could build one a lot faster. To date I just use hand sanding on little stuff and on big slabs a router with a bit for leveling and Festool RO150 in rotex mode. Instruments are a bit more delicate and I wouldn't use those items those pieces.

    I am wondering now just how well something like 8020 would work for a home build. I can see a few things I could do to make it a more versatile machine from sanding to leveling etc. Ah to much brain power so early in the morning.
    Last edited by John Bertotti; Jan-20-2021 at 8:31am.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  31. #18

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    What's an 8020?
    Richard Hutchings

  32. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Hutchings View Post
    What's an 8020?
    It's extruded aluminum beams that accept fasteners. Very handy for some machine projects. A Gilbert Erector Set for adults.

    https://8020.net/freesample

  33. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    John, you could probably get a lot of what you needed from scrapping a couple of treadmills. I've had good luck doing that. A treadmill has machined rollers on axles with bearings, a drive system, and usually a pretty big DC motor. (For example, there's a Baldor 3Hp DC motor in my shop that I stripped from a free treadmill. A new one from Grainger is $475.) Treadmill platforms also make excellent infeed/outfeed table material. There's not much waste. You can make a speed controller for about $15. If you want to get fancy, treadmills also have a linear actuator in them.

    There are plenty of people who will give you a $4,000 treadmill (or sell it to you for $50) if you'll just come and get it. Most people have no idea what to do with a 400-pound thing.

    Food for thought, anyway.

  34. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jonathan Ward For This Useful Post:


  35. #21

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    Second the treadmill resource. Probably the most expensive thrown away item around here. Even the belt length is about right for in-out-feed if you have the shop space. Woodshop equipment even turns up really cheap or on the curb, but that’s just the demographics hereabouts.

    At the proven risk of being the “unnecessary unasked voice filling the room” - again! I’ll also chime in on beefing up an open-end (cantilever) sander with homebrew:
    The play you’d like to minimize comes from several places. Flexibility of the support structure, non-concentric drive shaft or cylinder, bearing clearances.
    Adding an overarm, perhaps with aluminum or steel or even wood parts allows stabilizing and preloading the outboard end of the cylinder. Gets some of the error out. The idea is to set parallelism under the same load as during sanding. May best be done with a strong spring and an adjustment. Whether it’s worth the effort is another story. I do know that fussing with marginal tools is often a bad habit that interferes with getting product out, so some people easily justify the cost of better stuff, but obviously many people writing here are not in production mode, and some of us just enjoy the fussing.

  36. The following members say thank you to Richard500 for this post:


  37. #22
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    SD
    Posts
    2,947

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    The treadmill is a great idea. I’ll look around I do have an old Nordic track but it isn’t motorized and we still use it. I don’t often see equipment given away around here. Pianos are another story you can find them but they do me no good in this case. I was considering g 8020 because I have thought about making a more permanent slab leveling table. I was thinking I could make a removable gantry for a drum sander or my router set up and swap them when needed. I would manually slide the drum across the piece which would be stationary. The up would be the unit would be supported on both sides and the table could be gured to the drum I the first pass after that thicknesses would remain true.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  38. #23
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    2,152

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    Go to the junkyard or steel recycling place. I see dozens of treadmills in there every time I visit.

    In general, those places are a gold mine for creative people who can repurpose other's junk into function. On a good day it is both amazing and depressing to see what gems people discard as trash, often working perfectly well.....

  39. The following members say thank you to j. condino for this post:


  40. #24
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    14,897

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    ...On a good day it is both amazing and depressing to see what gems people discard as trash, often working perfectly well.....
    Off topic, but exercise equipment especially gets discarded.

    I've built myself a mandolin several times so that I would learn to play. Still, I barely qualify as a beginner on mandolin. Why? Owning a mandolin is not enough... it takes practice too!

    After seeing TV commercials with fitness buffs with 6-pack abs and muscle definition all over their youthful bodies looking joyful using exercise equipment, people get treadmills, stationary bikes, Nordic-tracks and so forth, only to eventually realize how much effort they take, how boring they actually are, and how much space the darned things take up... and how little they are used (if at all).
    So it a lot like my ownership of a mandolin, If I don't use it I don't improve.
    Sorry for the sidetrack, but for some reason I just types this for the heck of it.

  41. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to sunburst For This Useful Post:


  42. #25
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    SD
    Posts
    2,947

    Default Re: Equipment advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst View Post
    Off topic, but exercise equipment especially gets discarded.

    I've built myself a mandolin several times so that I would learn to play. Still, I barely qualify as a beginner on mandolin. Why? Owning a mandolin is not enough... it takes practice too!

    After seeing TV commercials with fitness buffs with 6-pack abs and muscle definition all over their youthful bodies looking joyful using exercise equipment, people get treadmills, stationary bikes, Nordic-tracks and so forth, only to eventually realize how much effort they take, how boring they actually are, and how much space the darned things take up... and how little they are used (if at all).
    So it a lot like my ownership of a mandolin, If I don't use it I don't improve.
    Sorry for the sidetrack, but for some reason I just types this for the heck of it.
    Too true, it always take practice and dedication to move forward irregardless of the endeavor.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •